Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Smoking Ordinance Passes Unanimously!

Ten things from the City Council meeting that stood out for me:

1) I lost a $20 bet. I said Joe Mosca would vote against smoking restrictions. Turns out he was among the most eager to pass them.
2) A six foot 4 inch guy weighing about 230 pounds wearing military fatigues and Army boots revealed that his feelings have been hurt by people making coughing sounds at him when he smokes downtown.
3) The printed survey detailing the opinions of Chamber of Commerce members was not received with quite the same level of veneration shown for medical studies on the effects of tobacco use.
4) The art director from the Mountain-Views "Observer" shouted something about "Comrades!" at the City Council members as she left the room. Proving yet again that cigarette smokers are running dog lackeys of insidious reactionary corporatism.
5) The apparently black clothes only dress code of the "Stop The Smoking Ban" people made them look a little bit like Siouxsie and the Banshees devotees on band fanfest day.
6) The people who talked at the podium about people being angry over the smoking issue were by far the angriest looking folks in the room.
7) So now it appears that Sierra Madre will not become the Tobacco Sin City for the San Gabriel Valley. Watch out, Monrovia. They are many, they have limitless leisure, and you are their last hope!
8) Several of the younger gentlemen from the Congregational Church have hair styles that hearken back to the salad days of Bobby Sherman. Verily He anointeth them with Breck.
9) A lot of people stayed all the way to the vote on the smoking ordinance. Meaning, I guess, that nobody felt confident about how the vote would go. That it ended up a 5 to 0 tally being a surprise to a lot of people. Including me.
10) The gentleman who made the remark, "You hear complaints about obese people being unhealthy, but you never hear about anybody getting cancer from second hand food," is an argument for the City Council giving out medals for well delivered one-liners. Rewarding humor in those speaking from the podium would be a definite way to encourage people to take a lighter approach when preparing their remarks.

What a town. Good night, Gracie.

157 comments:

  1. Congratulations to all involved, hats off to Sharon P. Thank you to Kurt Z. for the smack-down on the WWII tune up, classic!

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. I hated to do it, Allison, because your post was a pretty good read. But the language thing has to be enforced. There is a good precedent for it as there are folks in Sierra Madre cursed with keyboard Tourettes.

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  4. What a night ... the facts spoke for themselves...when you consider that 115 parent signatures where turned in from one school alone you have to realize that MOST folks do not enjoy the smoked filled air. Now this will allow everyone to sit outside and enjoy the beauty Sierra Madre has to offer. Well done.

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  5. I would have been very surprised if the council did not vote unanomously for a ban, Sir Eric.
    Every member of that council is a parent.
    I was astounded at all the great speakers last night.
    When people are speaking from their hearts and minds with the only self interest that to protect their children and themselves from second hand smoke......compared to people giving weak self-serving excuses to allow smoking in dining areas.......the results of that vote were highly predictable.
    I was one of the volunteers for Pevsner's group
    and I would like to thank Sharon for a superb presentation. Not only did you succeed, you taught many members of the community plenty about the dangers of second hand smoke.
    You probably saved lives.
    Thank you to the city council, Mayor Zimmerman, Mayor Pro-tem MacGillivray, Councilman Buchanan, Councilman Mosca,Councilman Watts. You were all looking out for the health of your constituents.
    Thanks to that nice little boy who was celebrating his 9th birthday going up to the podium to speak on behalf of the smoking ban.
    Anyone worried about the future? Don't be.
    With kids like that.....we are all going to all be okay!

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  6. Not sure if the smokers quite comprehended just how unpopular their cause was. For our city council to vote unanimously on anything means somebody's cause is pretty awful.

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  7. City Council voted unanimously on 3/10/2009 to lower permit fees for solar PV systems installed in Sierra Madre to a flat $515.

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  8. Sir Eric, I would like to know what Alison Kirkham had to say to all us SM residents. Can you leave blanks for the cursing and post her comment.

    PS, Her comments last night that business in SM could not handle any change due to economy was just silly.

    PS, according to other cities with this ban -- the ban increased revenue for businesses!!

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  9. I went onto the Facebook Stop the Smoking Ban site to see what they have to say. One comment mentioned a statewide effort that these smokers want help opposing. So I'm posting the comment here with the Senator's contact information so we can add our voice supporting these statewide bans:

    Here's the post -- email your representative and support the efforts banning smoking. Thanks smokers for alerting me that more work should be done!

    There is an outdoor ban in parks and beaches being proposed at the state level by Senator Oropeza of Long Beach. I know that you guys are busy in Sierre Madre, but we need to bet the word out about this too. Thanks in advance:-)

    Please tell everyone that you know that lives in California to call their state Senator, Assemblyman, and Sen Oropeza to voice their opposition to this onerous and discriminatory bill that is being proposed by Senator Oropeza of Long Beach. It went to committee today. Let's help it die there.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/24/BAFN16LKUB.DTL&tsp=1

    To find your Senators:

    http://www.senate.ca.gov/

    and your Reps:

    http://www.assembly.ca.gov/defaulttext.asp

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  10. It was a great turnout, and a fine show of what can be accomplished when people band together for the good and the health of the community. One of the many baseless claims of the opposition to the ban was the detrimental effect it would have on the businesses in Sierra Madre. That claim was disputed repeatedly and with FACTS from communities that already have bans in place. Nonetheless, there is just no convincing the diehard (no pun intended) smokers of this reality.

    Therefore, what I would like to propose would be a show of support from the smoking ban supporters. We pick a day in the near future, once we see that the "educational" process has begun, and organize a large gathering at one of the local eateries. We make it clear who we are and why we are there. Everyone brings along as many friends and family as they can, and we spend some money. I suggest that we start with the business that seemed to have had the most egregious of offenders (Beantown), and once a month work our way through the town. As a disclaimer I must say that my only connection to Beantown is as a customer, I do not stand to gain financially from this, nor do I have a financial interest in any business in town. We take our families out for ice cream, coffees and other treats. The next month we go to a restaurant and eat, drink and spend. This would serve as a show of support and sincerity, putting our wallets where our mouth is. Additionally it would serve as a visual show of our numbers, and be our way of reclaiming a few fresh air seats along the boulevard.

    Further I would recommend that everyone be invited, smokers and non-smokers, to show that our intent is to be all inclusive. There should be no name calling, and no antagonizing remarks between the two sides. Remember non-smokers; how you often felt alienated by the smoky environment and the inability of many (not all) of the smokers to do the decent thing in years prior. It was sad to see that what we were basically trying to regulate was not smoking, but manners. Most of us would not have been there last night if the smokers had at any time been self regulating with regards to manners and common decency. I am more of an idea man than an organizer, is there anyone out there who would like to help me make this idea come to fruition? I believe that with a couple of volunteers we could easily put this together. It could be a fun and rewarding evening, and what’s the worst thing that could come out of it, perhaps we gain a few calories. As one very wise participant exclaimed last night “there is no second hand food” issue. I hope that this idea sounds good to many, let’s get out and support the businesses of Sierra Madre. Any volunteers can reach me at johnnyscraigslistemail@yahoo.com

    Thank you for the forum to express myself, Johnny

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  11. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Anonymous at 8:17am...i was lucky enough to not be able to sleep and read Allison's post...as "Sir Eric" said it really was a good read...if i remember right she said the "F" word only one time and that was it for the cussing (if there was more, pardon me, it was 2:30am). She was actually commenting on HIS #4 since it was directed towards her...funny how that works. Maybe he will post it again and take that word out.

    Anyhow as i posted awhile back i hope this Ordinance will be positive for everyone. Listen, all i want more than anything is to continue working somewhere that i can just be me, have a great time doing it, make my money and come home to family and call it a day.

    Lisa

    PS. As for #5 on the list...i choose a black work shirt because i figured if i was going to be on local TV i wanted to look as slim as ever!!! ;)

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  12. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Hey Johnny, great positive idea...be sure to either start or end your evening at Lucky Baldwin's, preferably on one of my nights (Tuesday, Thursday and/or Friday's after 6pm)...i think i'm going to need the money.

    Lisa

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  13. Ok ... let's see Allison left her post at
    12:52 am and the letter writer from yesterday's Sierra Madre News site wrote this on Facebook:

    J Sidney wrote at 1:07am
    WHAT happened at the city council meeting tonight??

    I don't think that's a surprise...

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  14. Thank you Lisa, I hate to see any issue divide our wonderful community this way. This is clearly one issue that both sides feel very passionate about. It will be nice if we can all come together on this one, and find common ground. I wanted to say Hi to you last night, but I didn't know your position and was concerned that my opinion had offended you. So HI, and my family, friends and I would love to come see you and spend some money at L.B.'s. Aloha, Johnny

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  15. Good night, George.

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  16. I'm a former Beantown cinnamon roll and mocha fan stopping in a couple of times a week. My patronage won't make or (didn't) break Beantown. Choose a day and I'll be there for a dozen cinnamon rolls to treat my co-workers! I did stop in at Lucky Baldwin's for breakfast with a friend not long ago and enjoyed a smoke free terrific breakfast early in the morning. And I was treated to dinner at Cafe 322 recently avoiding the smoking patio and thoroughly relishing the food. Choose a day, a venue and issue the "Rave" notices! Thanks to all who came to last night's City Council meeting especially those with young children and the charming young Crawford presenter. My eyes watered and it wasn't just because I sat behind Allison's cigarette smoke aura. No kidding, it's not just the puffing, it the lasting stench exuding from their clothing, hair and pores. It's their choice but still my heart was breaking for their blindsided ignorance (as in to ignore) of the health risks not only to themselves but to family, friends and even strangers.

    Thank you Stroller Moms. We look forward to your continuing interest in Sierra Madre's issues.

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  17. Between Allison's remarks that she shouted as she left the council chambers after the vote and her Tattler post shows the woman has NO class.

    It was great to have the entire council vote together on something important for the city.

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  18. The smoking advocates were sophomoric in their arguments.
    They reminded me of arguments a parent would have with their teenager.
    "but why can't I go to the all night beach party, everyone else is going, you are so unfair"!
    "why can't I smoke in the house, I have my rights"?
    Every single one of the smoking advocate speakers gave a "SOPHOMORIC" argument.
    Thanks to the ADULT city council and the ADULT "stroller mom" crowd........who saved them from themselves. Saved us from their second hand smoke!

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  19. I want to thank everyone that came last night. Especially the families- when most of the kids would rather be at the park...I'd also like to say Happy Birthday - Jack Crawford -- he turned 10 yesterday and just helped pass a law that will make the rest of his childhood into adulthood smoke free.. what a birthday present to all ...

    Lisa - I thank you for your continued support of both sides...the issue has always been the "smoking" and not the "smoker" ... Johnny - your passion was palable ...
    Tori - the 115 signatures you collected spoke volumes...thank you.

    To the smokers: Peter has set a great example of how smokers should operate..I have been in his presence with my children and he has refrained from smoking. I'm hopeful everyone will follow his lead...

    Thank you

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  20. The heartbreaking thing about the smoking youths is the degree of denial they are living in. They missed the relevant arguments all together. Of course the length of the meeting worked against them - nicotine withdrawal starts 15 minutes after the last hit, and becomes quite intense 45 minutes later.
    The gentleman who started his speech by mentioning the hysteria in the room, actually said smoke could be "a little" harmful. He needs to go visit any of the chemotherapy infusion rooms in all of the hospitals around the world.
    We must congratulate them on coming to that chamber where decisions are made, and participating. If only they had a worthwhile cause. If only they'd come back on other issues to learn, to help shape the civic experience.
    What drove me crazy was the oft repeated reference to car exhaust. Bad things exist in our air, so let's add more? Spectacularly bad reasoning.
    Ms. Kirkham was an effective speaker, but inadvertently offered a great argument for the non-smokers. She said that the decision should be made by those most harmed (referring to business owners - doesn't matter how many facts you present that they will benefit). The decision WAS made by those who were most harmed - the non-smolkers who have previously been forced to inhale toxins put into our shared air by smokers.
    Congratulations to the council for genuinely improving our lives!
    And to the young smokers: please try to stop while you have your health.

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  21. My family rarely eats in town in nice weather, because we don't care to sit outside where people are smoking.
    So all you business owners can now count on us visiting your establishments.
    I would really rather spend my money in Sierra Madre, than Arcadia, Pasadena and Monrovia.
    Everyone who is grateful for the smoking ban....go eat at one of the local restaurants outdoor tables!
    CoC? Even though you didn't support us, we will support you.

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  22. Let's consider this the first step in "goin green" here in Sierra Madre!

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  23. Sorry, but all I saw last night were a few lousy boot-licking totalitarians bringing in a horde of hired-gun crusaders and taking away the God-given rights of man.
    You folks who are so bothered by a little smoke here and there, who whipped up this hysteria because you've got nothing better to do -- well, you'll get the country you want. A weak country populated with stroller moms having their idiotic oprah book club or Jim Cramer conversations, while their criminally spoiled, screaming kids run around the pub -- a place that used to be for adults. Where 50% of conversations struck up at the pub revolve around someone's dog.

    You don't know what it means to be adults. The people who passed this ban are basically sociopaths who think that with a little more rigid law enforcement, they'll somehow stop being miserable about everything.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I get more enjoyment out of life in five minutes than most of you will ever have. Not just from a cigarette, but from everything you think is wrong.

    And to the pudgy little loser who waved his arm at me last night at the meeting -- just wait 'til they come for your french fries, boy.

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  24. Calm down, go have a smoke.....in the alley! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!

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  25. Joshstrike,
    You are projecting on others what you are.

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  26. You want to play prison guard? Have fun with that.

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  27. @anonIII -- If the city council tried to pass an ordinance against children at the pub, I would be first to defend your right to bring your kids there, provided they don't bother me, or if they do bother me, I can ask you to take them somewhere else.

    I don't believe we need to pass blanket laws that take away peoples' rights, we can all compromise.

    The idea of "compromise" for most people here, however is, "go in the alley, you criminal."

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  28. The issue for the people who oppose the ban was never about smoking being healthy or unhealth; it most clearly is bad for you. (Although one could argue about the studies failing to differentiate between outdoor and indoor smoke.)
    It's about the role of government in enforcing and restricting the actions of citizens. To the poster above who said smokers are "sophomoric," what is more juvenile: to run to a nanny state and cry for a law everytime you don't like something someone does, or to ask them personally, like an adult would do?
    Meanwhile, while you congratulate yourselves, smoking is allowed on a bench and off any curb. Some victory! It's symbolism over substance.
    Meanwhile, you censor Allison's comment over one epithet. Are you afraid of second-hand cursing?

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  29. Smoking is an indefensible argument, you lose, and in so many ways!

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  30. I suppose any argument is indefensible, even one for freedom and the rights of man, when you're trying to defend it against people who lack critical reasoning skills. The failure of the education system has never been more apparent to me than in the way people bought into this hysteria.

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  31. Keep diggin' that hole!

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  32. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Pasta at 9:35am...Allison's comment to the councilmember's was equally as "classless" as the gentlemen that said if he knew which restaurants were NOT in support of the smoking ban then he would not patronize those establishments when he SHOUTED back "DEMOCRACY WON AGAIN, HONEY"...2 wrongs certainly do not make a right. Her comment would have had more of an affect if no one had responded, don't you think?

    Again let's just move to the positive side of this because i'm looking forward to a smokefree patio where i get to continue tripping over dogs tonight with a tray full of yummy Belgian Beers.

    Lisa

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  33. johnstrike:

    Just eat, drink, enjoy the view and have your smoke later.

    Don't forget to tip based on how long you were there not the price of your cup of coffee.

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  34. Lisa,

    I did not hear the other comment. I agree it was unnecessary. In some cases the children were better behaved than some of the so caled adults.

    I tip based on service, and time spent in a place. 20% minimum. See ya at the pub.

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  35. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Pasta...thank-you!!!!

    Be sure to give me a hug when you're there, ok? ;)

    Lisa

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  36. Lisa I would but then you would know who The PASTA is and that must be a secret. Anyone who finds out my true identiy must die :-)

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  37. @ Anonymous, since you seem to know who I am but are too ashamed or afraid to put your own name up here: I tip around 150% when I'm there for a couple hours just having coffee. And there's no one else around. Why shouldn't I have a comfortable place to be for a couple hours, too?

    Oh, right... because "anonymous" is watching...and might want to sit down too, but is too afraid to simply tell me the smoke's bothering him.

    Or is it that he just can't stand to see someone enjoying work and pleasure at the same time?

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  38. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Hey, i work in a bar...i keep goooooood secrets!!!!! About that dying part, though, not sure i like that one bit but i do know I LOVE PASTA!!!

    Lisa

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  39. Joshstrike, to paraphrase, "We won". Go smoke that.

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  40. Let's see, a couple of hours = 2 cups of coffee at $3.00 cup might equal $3.00 + $5.00 tip = $8.00 versus a family of four eating dinner estimated at $40.00 + 8% = $48. I could see a compelling reason for wanting a table of boulevardiers sipping cappuchinos ad nauseum.

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  41. The only Stanford study that explains any of this is the Stanford Prison Experiment on the group psychology involved in the human tendency toward thoughtless, high-handed persecution.

    Well, if living free means I'm gonna have to be a criminal, then so be it. It's better than being a follower, an anonymous face in the crowd.

    I don't expect you to understand. But the people who spoke for our rights last night do understand what you're doing to our society, and they feel the brunt of your persecution. Your radical, authoritarian new law drives out and criminalizes 15% of the population -- that's a larger group than African Americans. You got a guarantee of smoke-free air, but you got it by stripping away freedoms, and ultimately undermining your own.

    The rule of the mob, the tyranny of the masses, is not the same as democracy. Democracy is meant to protect the rights of the minorities as well; and in this case we've seen it fail.

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  42. And if you wonder why we aren't more like Europe, it's because in Europe it's considered the height of rudeness and arrogance to bring screaming, ill-behaved children to a bar; and it's considered civilized to sit at a cafe and have coffee and write. But no -- every place you go has to resemble the play room at McDonald's. And so it does.

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  43. I'm still amazed at how a number of you on the anti-smoking (or anti-smoke) side of this debate continue to characterize us as inconsiderate, arrogant, juvenile smokers. Most of you never gave us the chance to be considerate, this is quite evident in your reluctance to politely ask a smoker who may be bothering you to refrain. Apparently a little civility on your side is too much of a burden, and so instead you push for a law to get your way.

    Congratulations on your victory. You've helped to pass a law based on dubious science, misrepresentation of facts, and anecdotal sob stories, all while using your children as pawns. You've done your best to mischaracterize us as idiots who deny "40 years of evidence" that secondhand smoke poses certain health risks. Let me make my position clear: I recognize that there are inherent risks linked to SHS exposure in enclosed areas, but the jury is still out regarding outdoor exposure. Read the actual studies, not the press releases and easy-to-digest bullet point "fact sheets." Five minutes of Google searching is not sufficient to find scientific research that is to be used as a basis for lawmaking. "Sir Eric" re-posted comments made by those who did not support this ban, and purposefully edited them, omitting words like "outdoor" to make us look foolish.

    You may try and demonize me as a "cigarette kid," but that does not change the fact that I am legally an adult who chooses to engage in a lawful activity. I am a nice guy, and I don't want to bother anyone. Sharon, I do appreciate your comment about my being a model smoker, however I can't help but feel thrown under the bus. You made no effort to compromise, and now I can't even enjoy a cigarette while sitting outside Bean Town when the entire patio area is uninhabited. In my own home town I have been relegated to the status of second-class citizen regardless of the fact that I routinely (and gladly) inconvenience myself in an effort to be sensitive to the needs of others.

    Go ahead, keep the comments rolling in admonishing me to "stop whining LOLOL" and to "shut up and go smoke in the alley LMFAO!!!" It just shows that I'm not the arrogant, juvenile person with complete and total disregard for others. While I certainly appreciate some of the well-reasoned arguments in support of the smoking ban, what's going on with the rest of you? Why are you trolling the comments looking for childish name-calling opportunities? Why are you sending us e-mails riddled with spelling errors, telling us we have our heads up our rear ends? You call yourselves adults, but you certainly don't act the part. Please, grow up.

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  44. Sierra Madre business ownerMarch 25, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Josh, this battle is over. You need to move on and pick your next fight.

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  45. From Put That In Your Pipe and Smoke It
    Joshstrike and all you other smokers: First we took the inside of restaurants because you care more about getting a fix than the health of others -- you are addicts sorry if the truth hurts.
    Now we have outdoor dining -- next we'll get no smoking within 20 feet of the entrance of any building.
    Then we'll get all the sidewalks and parks, etc.
    And you know what, that's what the majority of Californian's want and that is DEMOCRACY and that's the way a free society works.
    I have to thank all the smokers for putting this issue on my radar. I'm going to be a lot more active in encourage local, regional and state smoking bans whenever possible.

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  46. Peter: I'm not sure the victim thing is working for you. The smoking ordinance passed because it is something the people of Sierra Madre wanted. Other cities put restrictions ion place, and suddenly downtown was under a smoke bank. It was obvious and threatening. There are many people who genuinely fear tobacco smoke, and given the health statistics there is good reason for it. Don't keep taking everything so personally. It's not the smoker, it's the smoke. You'd probably be getting the same kind of treatment had you been sprayed by a skunk.

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  47. The battle's not over, because next it will be about banning smoking inside your own home. These activists' radical agenda is not about public health; it's about PRIVATE health, and restricting personal choices. And their crusade won't stop, because if they do ban it on all sidewalks, they aren't going to admit they've done their job and voluntarily stop drawing their large, pharmaceutical company paycheck.

    And how will they enforce this in people's houses? Install mandatory smoke detectors? How about cameras? The posts above prove that those engaging in this crusade don't care one whit about compromise or about other people's rights, and won't be satisfied until they can regulate all behavior, of all kinds, because they have anointed themselves the "protectors" of the population, and believe that their lifestyle choices are the only ones valid.

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  48. Peter: If all of the smokers had been as considerate as you say you are this would have never been a problem. The fact is they weren't. Teh problem continued to get worse.
    Even when BeanTown posted its be considerate message, smokers filled the area making it all but impossible for others to use the tables. It is really hard to ask 10 people to put out their cigerettes. Also the smell remains.

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  49. The point that was made last night was a good one. The population of out of town smokers getting their nicotine on in our downtown area was skyrocketing. All those people kicked out of other towns when they put in their restrictions were now coming to Sierra Madre. It just got to be too much.

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  50. Peter, Joshstrike, all you other smokers who claim overwhelming consideration for us non-smokers, I have question.
    Now that you know how much of a bother, nuisance and irritant your smoke is to non-smokers who are just using the sidewalk for ingress and egress to go about their daily lives how can you call yourself respectful if you continue to use public sidewalks and space to feed your addiction at the expense of others comfort, ability to breath and yes -- long term health?

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  51. Annon. 2:02 -- you're right! The concentration of smokers was unbearable to be around. One person would smoke, then the next, then the next.

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  52. Because you could make the same argument about our clothes, our cologne, our dogs, our kids, or cars, or our language irritating you; in your blind haste to use force and the power of police to prevent people from doing something you dislike, you've put us on a slippery slope to which there is no end.

    I just happen to belong to the group being persecuted today, but I would feel the same about blanket restrictions on any of the above, whether they irritate me or not. That's because I was brought up to live and let live, and not be a nosy, puritanical SOB. The larger point is that your lack of appreciation for fundamental give and take creates a mob mentality, a rampant and misguided hysteria that goes crashing blindly around over everything from sharks to trans-fats to the wall street bailouts, all the while never seeing that it is your own lack of farsightedness that has brought us to this point, and that's taking all power in this country out of our hands and putting it into the hands of the police.

    Down to whether you've got a right to have a cigarette on the sidewalk.

    Sorry, pal. You've won this one, but you're making this a country that no one's gonna want to live in down the road.

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  53. Josh Strike Is PersecutedMarch 25, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    Gawd. What is this, trial by self-obsession?

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  54. It just seems that most smokers don't see the ability to breathe fresh air aa a right. Non-smokers somehow seem to get understand, last night the majority gained rights!

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  55. Any person who is defending a right to pollute all other people's air is truly narcissistic and not thinking clearly.

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  56. I'm sure John Buchanan is delighted that you jumped on board his initiative. Especially since it had the desired effect. To distract people from real issues. But, then again, what else is this Blog for?

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  57. I'm sorry Joshstrike but that's just a tired ridiculous argument. Government has ALWAYS had a hand in regulating the individual.

    We formed a Democracy not a society of anarchists. Though I too get back up again when I get knocked down (all you Chumba Wumba fans will get that one.)
    Clohting: already regulated. Public decency laws prevent me walking naked down the street. But I can dance around naked at home - so far no cameras monitoring that.
    Dogs: already regulated. Gotta be licensed, gotta have their shots (which is why they've gotta be licensed).
    Cars: regulated for pollution.
    Language: well you can't yell fire in a crowded theater.
    Government regulates the time, place and manner where appropriate to safeguard public health.

    Does government go too far sometimes? You bet the Patriot Act is a good example.
    Is government's regulation of smoking going too far? I don't think so. It is a health risk, indoors and outdoors. I'm not debating the finer points of the studies -- it is a health risk. So banning it in public space is a good idea for public health.

    Think that's unprecedented? Take a look at the ban on spitting on sidewalks to curtail the spread of TB.
    From www.tenement.org:
    In the nineteenth century, tuberculosis, also known as consumption, phthisis, and the 'White Plague' was the leading cause of mortality . . . After the turn of the century the death rate from tuberculosis steadily declined due to improved environmental conditions and the rise of preventive medicine. In the United States these health gains were made with better water and milk supplies (in 1910 purification/chlorination of water was introduced and in 1912 milk was pasteurized), the rapid growth of the sanatorium movement (the first of which began in 1885 at Saranac Lake) and laws against spitting in public (the first anti-spitting notices were put up in street cars in New York in 1891) . . . .

    In conclusion, regulating the time, place and manner of smoking to safeguard the public health is not the slippery slope to a police state. The slippery slope argument is a lazy rhetorical device masquerading as a logical argument.

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  58. Hey Joshstrike,
    Weren't you that little boy who showed up with his mommy and then cried when he didn't get his way?

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  59. Anon @2:48, thank you for that lucid summation!

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  60. Hm. Strange comment. The anti-smokers definitely held the monopoly on crying children at the meeting. That is, when they weren't taking their kids to the podium as a PR stunt.

    By the way, when an 8 year old is made to read things they don't understand in the service of their parents' political views, that tends to make them want to rebel later in life. (Just look how I turned out). Read: The more moralizing you are about it, the more likely it is that your kids will smoke.

    Cheerio! Enjoy your police state and your self-congratulations. I'm through with the lot of ya. As are all the other free-thinkers, artists and intellectuals you used to have around town. Don't worry, you won't miss us.

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  61. Joshstrike,
    So we can take that as a YES?

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  62. Joshstrke,
    Cigarettes, the pacifier for the over 18 crowd.WAAAA!

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  63. Save us from the childrenMarch 25, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    Joshstrike, are you really such an egoist that you think the dozen or so pseudo intellectuals puffing on cigarettes and drinking coffee in the most undiverse crimefree roll up the streets at midnight backwater of the universe represent free-thinkers, artists and intellectuals? Then truly the world is in trouble.

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  64. Today at lunchtime there was an elderly gentleman with an oxygen tank sitting outside Sierra Madre Juice - and a few tables away was a woman sitting outside Starbucks, smoking.
    Is the ordinance in effect yet?

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  65. The Boy was 10, however, even an eight year old understands how annoying second hand smoke can be. Sometimes the only thing more annoying is when an adult behaves more immature than an eight year old. Keep posting joshstrike, I'm sure that your fellow smokers will find you to be the best spokesperson to further their cause.

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  66. To all you narcissistic Beantown smokers:
    The competition for victimhood is ferocious in your small group.
    What will you all do now, now that you don't have the "stroller moms"and our 5 councilmembers to blame for your imagined injustices?
    We wish you luck, smokers, God knows you'll need it!

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  67. Also Anon, as the newbie free-thinking artistic intellectuals SM is raising up have suggested, he should have laboriously walked to her table trailing his oxygen tank (risking an explosion I would imagine) and implored her to stop smoking, and if they weren't both blown up, he could have returned to his table trailing his oxygen tank to drink his cold coffee or warm juice -- while she ignored him.

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  68. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    Also Anon at 4:11pm...this is a good question. I work tonight so i'll see what happens. To be honest those last 20 some minutes was a lot of mumble jumble talk for a tired 43 year old wife of a newly retired NAVY Vet, a mother of a 13 and 4 year old and a bartendar to top that.

    I do know, and they said it at some point, that when we had our meeting with the City Manager it was evident that the owners did not want to be the ones doing the policing nor did they want their employees doing it either.

    Anyhow, i'll see how it goes and report back oh so joyfully late late tonight.

    And for the record, i know all of you are coming down on these Bean Town smokers here, but let me tell you, WE make a ton of money from them...both from what they buy and how they tip. Call them what you want but they tip FAR more than most folk (locals and some not) that come into Delirium and we have always depended on them.

    Lisa

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  69. Hey Lisa,
    I’m thinking that you just may not realize how many big tipping, non-smoking customers your smokers have been driving away through the years. Perhaps give it a few days to see whether your theory of how this will “balance out” is correct. Then if you are right, that would be the time to start complaining. Also, keep in mind that this is a terrible economy and beer is not a necessity. I pass your place of business on a regular basis on the way to Washington Mutual or elsewhere. In the last many months it sometimes looks like a ghost town, and that has been with your favorite people still being allowed to keep the rest of us away.
    By the way, in answer to your wonderment…the ban went into force the moment the council ruled. The enforcement however doesn’t begin for ninety days. Let’s see whether or not your comrades will abide by the rules that exist prior to the penalty phase. They would have us believe their indignation that people would call them rude, obnoxious, or even arrogant. They now have a chance to show us how polite they are (and always have been) by abiding by the municipal code that does not yet have any teeth.

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  70. Annon. 2:48 here. I don't mean to crow, well okay I do a bit, but I made a lengthy argument filled with facts hard to refute explaining to our smoking friends exactly where their reasoning was faulty and fully expecting a tart reply from Smokey and his bears. Instead within minutes all the smokers seemingly lose interest, resort to general insults to our intellect and leave the scene. Verily the pen is mightier than the pinhead!

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  71. Listen, "Anonymous", I'll take the bait if you'll use your real name. Otherwise, you're a coward; you have no business calling anyone else out.

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  72. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 25, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    Hey Just Sayin'...i'm going into work with an open mind and i appreciate your advice. If you know who i am then you also know that i've been in this location (when it was the Brewery from day 1) since 2003. I know what type of people drink in this area, really i do.

    Thanks again!!!
    Lisa

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  73. Anyone know what business that one woman represented that was against the ban? The one who tried to insult the council?

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  74. Anon at 5:43

    She works for none other than the Mount Wilson Observer which is owned by H. Susan Hendderson.

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  75. Oh, so Joshstrike is still among us?

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  76. those people who drink in the bar...
    I'd wager they ain't exactly the same as these anonymous members of the local taliban...

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  77. No Pasta, what about the Sierra Madre non-smoking business owner that got up and talked about Zimmerman's comments at the initial meeting where he gave the smokers a grade of F for their comparing not being able to smoke to being a Jew in 1930s Poland, etc.

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  78. She also talked about how no business people were consulted in spite of the fact that it was the Council that suggested consulting business people at that first meeting.

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  79. no, Josh, we are friends and supporters of the STROLLER MOMS!

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  80. Josh, I'm assuming you don't live in town since your post on the PSN site says Chino Hills...maybe you could stay there and smoke. I have a hard time buying into the idea that if you can't smoke you won't drink beer. Doesn't hold for me. Maybe you'll cut back on cigarettes and have enough to buy another pint.

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  81. Now Joshstrike is resorting to calling people cowards instead of discussing the points made. Hmmm . . . .

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  82. Mary,
    I'm living in LA but spen(t) a lot of time in SM. Today, though, and I suppose for the rest of my life, I'm doing my freelance work and spending my money at a cafe table outside your jurisdiction, where I'm catered to and comfortable.

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  83. I'm sorry Lisa, but I don't really care how good the tips are from the smokers. It certainly doesn't justify continuing to endanger the public's health (not to mention your own health). So I hope you'll be able to make it with the tips from us tightwod home grown non-smokers. Apparently we're all you have left now that the smokers have vowed never to darken our doorstep or drop a dime in our eating establishments again. Darn and some of those smokers are so dang cute too.

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  84. Anonymous, my website is:
    http://www.joshstrike.com.
    My phone number is:
    (877) 6-STRIKE.
    My given name is Josh Dintzer, I'm a registered Democrat, an atheist, and a member of the ACLU.
    Everyone's seen me around town. I'm proud of what I believe in, and I have absolutely nothing to hide.

    And the day you have the character and fortitude to post your name, I'll be happy to respond to your argument. Until then, the shoe fits.

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  85. Not sure which business she runs, but she's little Josh's mommy so don't damage his little boy psyche. He has been known to cry endlessly once he gets started. By the way Josh, since you are using your own name so boldly, does that mean your last name is Strike, or are you a coward too? Why don’t you tell us which business mommy runs while you are endlessly blogging all day?

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  86. The woman in question is named Athena...she does real estate...what a surprise...

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  87. Good tactic Josh don't address the substance. Just focus on the Annon nature of the post. Didn't seem to bother you when you weren't stumped for something to say.

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  88. Look at these tactics you people take. Threatening, bullying, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Again, I'll address the points when you say your real name. "Josh Strike" is a registered pen name I've used since I was just a wee 13 year old smoking musician. A life of enjoyment and decadence you folks can nary imagine.

    I'm not related to Athena or to any of the other speakers last night. I know her, and she's a person with immense fortitude -- unlike the anonymous posters here -- and the nachas, ganas or whatever you call 'em, to stand up for the rights of a minority in an unpopular cause. She'd stand up for anyone she felt was being bullied and pushed around. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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  89. Lisa,
    I hope that your boss shares your business plan. You see, as you continue to alienate more non-smoking customers than you will ever realize, you are clearly only concerned about your own personal tips. On the other hand, in this economy I would imagine that your boss is more worried about the bigger concerns in life. Concerns like is my employee going to drive away so many paying customers with her disdain for non-smokers that I lose my bar. I’ll bet he/she has a very different idea about how to retain customers, and the role of goodwill. I will stop giving you advice; clearly you and the other smokers have all of life’s hard questions answered already.

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  90. Sierra Madre business ownerMarch 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    I thought that someone else had prepared her speech. She seemed to be reading from a script put together by more than one person.

    Sir Eric, I'll be so glad when we get to move on to another topic!

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  91. As a PROUD atheist I must say you give the godless a bad image. If you are going be so vitriolic, please don’t include your atheist distinction, you give the rest of us a bad name.

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  92. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  93. Hey Joshstrike you don't have a monopoly on being a Godless ACLU Democrat! We're just non-smoking ones!!

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  94. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  95. Why was my post removed? I didn't swear.

    All I said was, I bet some of these anon posters are Kurt or Sr. Zimmerman, and maybe that's who I've been arguing with all day; and that I know some "Lawyers of the Year", some environmental ones too... and it don't mean (fill in the blank).

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  96. Well Josh you better call the ACLU now. I didn't see anything obscene in either the 6:35 or the 6:41 posts. But Eric has a strict my way or the highway and it is his blog.

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  97. I think it would be great if Sir Eric shut the thread down now. There is really no more to say on the subject.

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  98. Annon 6:53 then why are you still reading it?

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  99. Maybe 6:53 is right. Josh has practically convinced me to start smoking.

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  100. Time to lock the thread, Sir Eric.
    These people are obviously trying to engage us.
    Just stop replying.

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  101. If any of you all need counseling about being too addicted to a healthy lifestyle, feel free to call me toll-free, I'll explain why life's too short to spend your time persecuting people and why you oughta relax, have a drink, have a smoke, and ponder the imponderable for awhile before you hit the grave.

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  102. Does it seem funny that Josh sees himself as such an outsider, when in fact he shares so many characteristics with so many of us? Oh, I mean besides a lack of understanding, a decent moral compass, an ability to relate to others, any degree of empathy for anyone but himself. Oh ya, and he likes to sit on his can and smoke in places where mannered people would generally just consume food and beverage. Places where the courteous smoker would consider going for a walk from to have a cigarette?

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  103. Oh I have never been accused of leading a healthy lifestyle. I just believe that it is my choice when to make bad choices for my health, not yours. Nor would I feel right endangering others through my irresponsible choices. I'm a little, little tiny bit like you, only I was raised right (or at least it took!)

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  104. Certain anonymous posters get nervous,
    and Sir Eric deletes my post,
    when I say that Kurt Zimmerman or his father may be among their number.

    Funny, isn't it?

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  105. Mr. Strike, you have done a great service to the people of this town. You have advanced the cause of smoking bans immeasurably, and we are grateful.

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  106. I wouldn’t so much say funny, I would be more likely to say paranoid.

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  107. Well, it just happened twice in a row, and the only swear word I used was "Zimmerman", so go explain that.

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  108. As an Atheist you should already know that there are some things that just cannot be explained.

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  109. We're behind the times,'bout time we caught up!
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6319649.stm

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  110. Check out his website and other info on the Google
    just because we don't agree with him , it is pretty impressive

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  111. what a half baked ordinance pandering to I can scream louder than extemeism in SM once again.

    so, I (don't smoke but if I did) all I've got to do is walk a few steps up or down the sidewalk and be okay to smoke? or, sit in my car infront of Bean Town and smoke away with the windows down?

    Kersting Court is a no smoking zone because it's considered a "park"? which was a total surprise to everyone. I guess now our detectives will be undercover in the Court clinking up the smoking offenders.

    personally, i'm okay with the ban and wish it wasn't enforced for actual residents of Sierra Madre who have the right to smoke if they want to in their own city - or at least have the right to smoke in certain areas, but residents only - out of towners can bite us

    and why would i care about the opinion of an out of towner who was either for or agin the ban and wasting city time with worthless opinions at the council meeting.

    Zimmerman should have had a set of cohones and denied the speaking requests of anyone who didn't live in Sierra Madre or at least give them 30 seconds to make their point.

    ? can people smoke on the side patio at Charcuterie? it's not on public property as per this mamby pamby ordinance and the owners could rightfully designate a portion of their own parking lot for smokers and non smokers would just have to accept it and quit shrieking about their own rights

    from where i sit, the Council was all giddy with themselves about being in the limelight and acting all progressive with the overdrawn Council feedback and opinions

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  112. Anonymous at 2:31
    1) One reason to care about out of towners would be just the general consideration of your fellow human being (pretty much the reason the reason this had to be a law, not voluntary). If you were there at city council or read yesterdays posts you will see there is a major issue with just general politeness.
    2) Another reason to be decent to out of towners would be that perhaps one day YOU will venture out of Sierra Madre and I’m guessing that you would want to be treated with respect and perhaps even kindness.
    3) I’ll give you one more…the economy of our town is dependent on the spending habits of more individuals than just those who reside here.
    I’m not sure that I can follow your logic on allowing residents to break (or be immune from) the ban. As a non-smoker I really don’t care where the unmannered originated from. It doesn’t matter to me whose lungs the smoke filters through before I have to breathe it, nor who is releasing the second hand smoke. Was I supposed to get a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that it was an inconsiderate LOCAL who damaged my lungs or gave me or my family cancer?
    Lastly, I do agree with you if you are pointing out that this ban is weak and should have been stricter. Personally I would like to see 100 yards from any commercial doorway in town and statewide. Of course that is a long way to walk when your lungs are clogged with tar & nicotine.

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  113. Does this new ban cover fireplaces, bbq's and all other kinds of smoke, or just the smoke from tobacco? Since those all have the same irritants and carcinogens in them, and they are just as bad or worse, and they let off much larger quantities, enough to blanket whole city blocks with fumes. I for one think they should ban all the above near where people live, and especially BBQs in the parks near where children are playing, because all of these are a serious health risk. People with children should certainly not be allowed to BBQ in the yard with children present, it is child endangerment. Do any people know how the law is worded, how it defines "smoking"? And can the city take action against these people with BBQs and fireplaces too, while they're at it please?

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  114. If you organize, gain a consensus, contact lots of folks, organize some more, contact council members, send emails, canvas etc.... you can ban or restrict whatever you like, it's called- the will of the people-democracy, go for it!

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  115. Anonymous at 3:45
    After everything the last couple of days I can no longer differentiate who is being serious and who is being sarcastic. For the record, I love a good bbq, and I do not smoke nicotine. I have a propane bbq at home, as far as I know NONE of the deadly noxious fumes associated with nicotine are present in a propane grill. I have heard that coal has detrimental effects to our health so that could certainly be a concern. If I go to someone’s home and they are grilling on coal I will definitely have a burger, piece of chicken, or a steak. That of course is my choice as to whether or not to be healthy.
    I have also heard that many towns have banned wood fireplaces, especially in new housing being built. I haven’t yet heard of anyone having had to retroactively remove any fireplaces.

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  116. Well its not the nicotine in second and 3d hand smoking that's bad for you, there isn't much left I don't think because the smoker is getting it all. What's bad is the carbon monoxide and smoke particles and other chemicals which are the same if they come from wood or any other burning substance. I think propane is more safe but it still lets off a lot of carbon monoxide. Propane grills are banned in many condo and apartment living areas in Florida where I'm from, and you would think, here in Sierra Madre with the danger of fires, these are really that much more dangerous due to the embers starting wild fires.

    Not to mention, I'm sorry to tell you this but people who eat bbq meat are unfortunately causing themselves and their families cancer, there is a lot of scientific evidence that says cooking meat that way causes cancer. Then there is the fact that people dump the coal dust from coal bbqs and it blows all over, and people breath it, who knows how far away. We had a neighbor in Florida who we fought with over the dust acumulating in our side yard.

    I think this really is the next safety issue that should be dealt with, especially with summer and the fire season coming up. But maybe it could be covered already by just changing the definition of "smoking" in this new law? A bbq is an eating area, so that seems covered in the law. If there is smoking going on in an eating area, I don't see how it matters if it's coming from a smoker blowing it, or a bbq blowing it, it's still smoke and it still causes cancer. At any rate the bbq should have to be a long way downwind from where children are eating, and parents should be made aware of the danger of kids playing where the smoke from a backyard bbq might be drifting nearby.

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  117. Abe said: "you can ban or restrict whatever you like, it's called- the will of the people-democracy, go for it!"

    Actually, Abe, when the will of the people to "ban, ban, ban!" is distorted and directed by pharmaceutical companies trying to sell stop-smoking pills so they can get the population hooked on even more dangerous drugs than nicotine, that's called fascism.

    But I see you're all on to the next phase of your hysteria now. What an absurdity. What's next? You wanna have the cops crashing kids birthday parties because someone's cooking a steak? You people are engineering this little fourth reich all by yourselves... just a "model village," where we kick out the kids and sweep all the dirt under the rug, huh?

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  118. Josh,

    Can't you just be done? They didn't ban smoking in Sierra Madre...they restricted it at it's eating establishments...the more you carry on about the injustice of it all the more desperate you look. You can't walk across the street to smoke? If that's too much for you - you are free to find a place that would support your habit on their patio ...

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  119. I've lived in five countries besides the US, and traveled to thirty more. I run my own business, and have done it successfully from the road for the past five years. I was interviewed by Wired Mag. this month to give them tips on how this is done.

    The way it's done is to spend a lot of time sitting with a laptop and focusing very hard, using nothing but brain power, with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I don't know any other way. I end up spending a lot of money wherever I sit down to work. As luck would have it, I'm spending a lot of time in Sierra Madre right now. And having come back from totalitarian Vietnam, where the government would be scared to death of its people if it tried to pass an indoor smoking ban, let alone a radical law like this, I was incensed when, right after I got back, I found out that outdoor smoking was about to be banned in the only decent places for me to do my work in town. You have to understand, I just can't work as well without a smoke. I'm a very high strung individual. I got my first ulcer when I was 18. Smoking's the only thing that calms me down and focuses me. I suppose I could get on some drug that would do it, but all that stuff scares me to death and I wouldn't touch a prescription medication. With tobacco, I understand the risks, weighed the decision, and found that it's what I need.

    I don't want to affect other people. But most of the time I'm working, I'm alone out there. Or I go in a corner to be away from other people who aren't smoking. The last thing I need is to have to be looking over my shoulder, like I'm a heroin junkie about to get busted. I'm trying to work. Now, I'm basically a prisoner in my home, instead of being able to work out. I haven't left my house for two days. That's why I keep posting so much.

    I'll be leaving the country again eventually, and I'll be free again. In the meantime, SM has proven itself a very unfriendly and uncomfortable and unaccommodating place for someone like me, and yeah, I'm bitter about it. Especially bitter that you're all crowing about how happy you are, essentially, to be rid of me.

    And there you have it.

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  120. Josh,

    No one ever said we "wanted to be rid of you" - just your smoke...I would welcome the opportunity to sit outside with you and chat...just not with a cigarette in your hand. I respect your decision to smoke..please respect my desire to no par-take in your habit...Let's agree ...it's your habit. I'd offer you a hyponotherapist that has worked wonders with friends of mine that used to smoke ... just a thought...I agree with you regarding the no drug thing...but if you really wanted to quit..hyponotherapy could work ... just a thought...BTW, your website is impressive...give yourself more credit than being angry and let's solve the problem ...
    BTW, nicotine is just as addictive as herion ...I'm a former smoker...hardest thing I ever did was quit...so I know what you are saying

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  121. Don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out, Joshie.

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  122. Well John, I appreciate that, but I wish we could just say "don't do it if it's bothering somebody". Now the police can fine me or detain me for it even when no one else is around. If you're an ex-smoker, you know how ingrained it becomes in the fabric of everyday experience. It's literally the air you breathe, right? So I don't want to impose my atmosphere on yours, and I know all too well that I'm in the minority... but why shouldn't there be *some* comfortable place for me, too? Why this lust among people who say "you should smoke in your car with the windows rolled up"...to make it as unpleasant as possible? As if the pleasure I take from it is directly affecting them, even when they're nowhere around? Just give me at least one spot I can go out and have a coffee or a drink and a smoke at the same time, huh? In 15% of the places, or 15% of the time in any given place, since we're 15% of the population?

    I don't mind goin' on like this, because it's that important to me. It's literally the difference between whether I want to go out of my house or not. I understand that for non-smokers it's like that, in some situations, too. What I don't get is why they have to have *all* the times and places for themselves, and can't leave a little for us as well.

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  123. "Don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out, Joshie."

    See? These people don't want to be nice or civil or compromise, and that's why I've been so vociferous about it. They want to treat me like a second class citizen. Hey you: What makes you think you're better than I am? Put yourself in my shoes and think about how it feels to be thrown out for doing something that was perfectly socially acceptable when you were a kid, huh?

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  124. I think I'm better than you are as a form of psychological defense. If it should ever happen that I should start to feel that I'm just like you, I'd have to step in front of a bus.

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  125. Josh
    Unfortunately your mindset is still that of a child. Most of the non-smokers have battled for fresh air their entire life (myself included). I’ve wanted this for more than forty years and never been on the winning side of the effort. We finally get a breath of fresh air and now you want to pollute our lives in the only other way you seem to know – mean spiritedness. Before you go on & on about how mean everyone is to you, read your own posts from yesterday. You lost your first battle, and immediately proceeded to prove what a poor loser you are.

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  126. Oh good Lord. Please, people! Don't feed the troll. Obviously this is someone who gets a major thrill out of your abuse. Stop pleasuring this person.

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  127. Josh,

    The point was made over and over again on Tuesday night- the majority will not tell a smoker to put it out...the reverse can be said of the smokers..why smoke when there are others in your presence? Because we have become a society of entitlement. "It's my right, I can do it, blah blah" ... When I was a smoker eons ago, I would never light up in a place populated with so many nonsmokers..lets not even talk about how many children are there. Just didn't happen ..no one asked me...we refrained or went to a parking lot. Those courtesy days are long gone. I'm sure you enjoy smoking, heck I did as well, but I have to admit, I think you would quit if you could. I think your addiction is just too strong. Keep in mind the tobacco companies want it that way -- that's why nicotine has increased by 11% over the last six years...it's not just you, Josh, Nicotine is a powerful thing.

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  128. Well, unlucky, you just go on tellin' yourself that. Man! If you knew how good the curry tastes in Bangkok, or how beautiful the flowers are in Saigon. If you'd ever seen the sun set over the Sydney Opera House, or tasted the oso buco in Buenos Aires, or eaten fresh sushi from the fish market in Valparaiso. If you'd ever driven a checker cab for 42 hours straight, gotten robbed but still made the sweetest thousand bucks of your life. If you'd ever waited tables at the carnegie deli in new york city. If you'd ever had a drink and met a girl on the streets of East Berlin. If you'd seen the church of the sepulcher and the via dolorosa, if you'd gone to a buddhist temple and strolled through waves of incense during Tet, if you'd taken trains through rice paddies and trains through the rockies and holed up for days in the monsoon rain in the Northern Territory and watched the fireworks on new years from a rural street with wild dogs all 'round you, somewhere in the pampas, well, you'd wish you were me.

    You folks don't know how to live. I'm only 28. What have you done?

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  129. Well, for one I haven't sat on a message board all night whining about how mean everyone is to me.

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  130. josh sounds like he's totally full of BS or has an active imagination - a world traveler...lol Buddist temple etc etc etc

    dude, what's in those cigarettes you're smoking?

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  131. the photos are on my website, the interview is in this month's wired magazine, and to reiterate, the reason I'm home right now is YOU BANNED ME FROM GOING OUT.

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  132. Josh, your position had an equal amount of time and resources to gather data, email, organize, petition, contact Council members, create flyers etc...as the opposition, there is just one question you need to ask yourself...what happened? What in your opinion, now that you have time to reflect, could you have done better or more effectively to sway City Council to your side? You need to ask yourself and your compatriots, how did we lose? not how the other side won. Answer that question and you will know why the other side won. IMHO

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  133. You know, I guess if I'd been thinking of it that way, I should've called Philip Morris. But I thought this was something citizens could compromise on amongst themselves. Awww...what's the use. Your country's gonna crumble, fade and disappear in the next generation, if the whole world isn't wiped out anyway. This little blip, the hysteria at the end of the empire, we live in interesting times. If my grandfather were alive now to see this he'd have left this country, and so I will to. It's not just this smoking thing; it's your whole way of living and what you eat and what you watch and what you read or don't read and all the pointless junk you buy and all the debt your in to China and, ultimately, the limited way in which you think; and nothing I say is gonna really get that across, because you just don't have a broad enough view of what the world is really like to comprehend it. Blind yourself, stay in the bubble, and when it all comes crashing down on you, don't say I didn't warn ya.

    Buenas noches y suerte, hijos.

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  134. Dear Sierra Madre Tattler,
    I am new in my awareness of your blog. So far what I see I really like. It seems like a wonderful arena for some of us to express our thoughts, even our deepest feelings. What I have noticed though is that there is no advice column. I grew up getting much enjoyment reading the words of Dear Abby, Ann Landers, etc. I am curious as to whether you might consider bringing someone on to do just such a task. If you would I have an important psychological issue that has developed with my young infant. Let me tell you about this issue as though this were your first submission to say “Dear Eric” or maybe you could get that ultra pleasant girl from that other news source in town – Allison. Here’s what I’ve got:

    Our son was born a couple years back. We don’t want to use his real name and risk the possibility of damaging him later in life, so let’s just from here out refer to him as “Josh”. Josh had something that started shortly after birth, the doctor told my wife and I that he is colicky. We had not previously been familiar with this condition. Perhaps you are not either. The malady causes paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels. Of course in the first year of his life we may never have known there was a problem due to the lack of language skills prior to developing. The only way we were able to tell that there was a problem was that he would never quit crying. As you can imagine, this was very difficult for my wife, myself and usually anyone else near us who had to listen to this incessant crying. We dealt with this as best that we could, however at some point it made it difficult for us to even find friends for him to play with. The other stroller moms didn’t want him around and none of the other children seemed to have any respect for him.

    Fortunately at some point the condition lessened, and as is usual he developed the ability to speak and was able to tell us what was bothering him. Unfortunately, by this time our little Joshie had become conditioned to cry whenever he didn’t get his way. This was even the case when majority of the children were happy with the way things were. The language skills did develop and in time Joshie was able to tell us of the many things that were troubling him. I won’t burden you with all the details, but what follows is what we would like to call:

    A SHORT (and most likely very incomplete) LIST OF THE THINGS THAT ANGER BABY JOSHIE-

    lousy boot-licking totalitarians
    A weak country populated with stroller moms
    idiotic oprah book
    club
    Jim Cramer conversations
    criminally spoiled, screaming kids
    conversations struck up at the pub (that) revolve around someone's dog
    sociopaths who think that with a little more rigid law enforcement, they'll somehow stop being miserable about everything
    people who lack critical reasoning skills
    failure of the education system
    human tendency toward thoughtless, high-handed persecution.
    an anonymous face in the crowd.
    The rule of the mob, the tyranny of the masses
    why we aren't more like Europe
    screaming, ill-behaved children
    the play room at McDonald's
    large, pharmaceutical company paycheck
    protectors of the population
    power of police to prevent people from doing something you dislike
    puritanical SOB(s)
    power in this country out of our (his) hands
    crying children
    moralizing
    members of the local Taliban
    anonymous posters
    being too addicted to a healthy lifestyle
    Zimmerman

    These are just some of our Joshie’s gripes from less than a 12 hour period yesterday. Today with the beginning of a new day he just picks up where he left off and continues with an endless list of grievances. He has become almost UNBEARABLE!
    So I guess the advice I am looking for…my question is: Is there any way to stop our little baby Joshie from crying without completely caving in and giving him his way? It gets to the point where we wish someone would put a pillow over his mouth and hold it there until he stops breathing. Anything you can tell us would be helpful.
    Thank You, Call us “Losing Our Minds In Sierra Madre”

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  135. @Lisa-I like that you have the strength to participate in community discussions and I have to say one of the main reasons I go into Lucky's is because your humor, insights and lovely spirit, even if I don't agree with you on different issues, you are amusing and the heart of Lucky Baldwin's. They are lucky (pun intended) to have you. :-) A local non-smoking patron--

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  136. 8:33 - Now THAT is an amazing post! Would you mind if I took that and ran it as an article? Either Saturday or Sunday? Friday is pretty much done, and I've got a couple of half finished pieces I was going to finish. But this, my friend, is a work of art. And it deserves better than to sit here at the end of a 130 some odd posts thread. You good with it? And if you want to add anything, or rework it in any way, send it to the Tattler e-mail address.

    And here I was regretting letting people post on this one again ..

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  137. Were we at the same meeting? Lisa never spoke.

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  138. “Losing Our Minds In Sierra Madre”March 26, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    Eric,
    I was writing it with the hope that you might ask. I would love to have you publish my letter. I will contact you outside of this forum to make any necessary arrangements.

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  139. That was funny. I laughed out loud.
    You know, at least you can write, unlike a lot of people around here. Maybe you should be a comedian. The humor is a little on the bullying / derogatory side, rather than the self-deriding, introspective thing that's more in nowadays... a bit more Andrew Dice Clay than George Lopez, if you get my drift... but I'm sure you could get hired for something on the WB, and who knows where it could go from there. Maybe the country's finally ready for this kind of rapier wit.

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  140. Will O. at 8:08..is that from "Zen and The Art of War" or something...I would say that's "Good Night Gracie"!! Totally awesome!

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  141. 8:52 - look forward to hearing from you!

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  142. & by the way, I stand by every single one of those statements. Your list of what I'm willing to stand against to the last beat of my heart is not comprehensive, but it's a great start. Keep goin'. Your kids will read this and think, "wow. My dad actually _liked_ those thing"?

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  143. “Losing Our Minds In Sierra Madre”March 26, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Josh
    Honestly, we all just got to see a more attractive side of you. Those were the nicest words I have "heard" from you. Thank you.

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  144. Josh
    Stick with the honesty, it may better serve you.

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  145. Josh, this is just as much your country as it is mine, you have just as much capacity to change it as anyone else. Peace!

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  146. I have the right to kill myself but I don't have the right to kill others.

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  147. Well, actually that's illegal too!

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  148. Can we all go have a beer, yet or what?!!

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  149. Most I've laughed to a couple of days!! See, Josh, we do have fun ...we'd rather have fun with you..just leave the smokes home, k?!

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  150. Lisa Bartolai BrandleyMarch 27, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    Just Sayin at March 25th 6:16pm...I AM NOT A SMOKER I AM NOT A SMOKER I AM NOT NOT NOT A SMOKER (i have chosen, though, to work in a profession where there ARE smokers)!!!!
    Funny because i came home from work at 2amish on that Wednesday night all ready to report what i had learned and personally felt from the first day of work after this had passed, read this, took it very personal (as usual on here but also knowing you did not know anything about me) and wanted to return to you an explanation...well as i scrolled down i finally realized we were all put on a timeout...even the good playin' kids like myself. It was probably better that way because not thinking i would ever be able to rebute your SILLY ASS comment i was able to deal with this in my head and come to the realization you were not worth my time nor my positive energy.

    With that being said, coming home this early early AM (3amish) from work day #2 after the "ban" i was excited to read a post about little (well not so little) old me written by Anonymous at 8:46pm. Let me copy and paste it because this person, whomever he or she may be knows EXACTLY what i am about at Lucky Baldwin's and what i stand for...

    @Lisa-I like that you have the strength to participate in community discussions and I have to say one of the main reasons I go into Lucky's is because your humor, insights and lovely spirit, even if I don't agree with you on different issues, you are amusing and the heart of Lucky Baldwin's. They are lucky (pun intended) to have you. :-) A local non-smoking patron.

    Thank you Anonymous and cheers to you the next time you are in!!!!

    To end my lovely emotional post (just kidding) i would also like to say to Did i Doze off at 8:48pm, no neither i nor the owner of LB's said a word. We just sat in that front row and listened knowing darn well neither one of our opinions (and it is just that, OUR OPINION on a much heated and controversial debate) would have any impact on a City Council we believed to have already set their minds to a vote. What we did find interesting was that not one person from either side that did share how they felt said one word about our place. First time we came up, and we were referred to as "The Brewery", was when Buchanan was trying to figure out the eateries from Bean Town to us.

    Again, looking forward to moving on with all of this but also being able to share my own personal feelings and opinions with this topic when appropriate.

    Have a good morning all!!!!

    Lisa

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  151. Wow. This one finally died down. And on a most pleasant note I might add. Thanks all for participating in one amazing (in all the possible meanings of that word) conversation.

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  152. Siouxie and the Banshees? Wow, man, you are dating yourself! Great band, though, and loved this whole post - very entertaining. Enjoyed having a good, honest laugh for once. Thank you, Sir Eric!

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  153. Yeah, those were some times, let me tell you. Only bands from that era I follow any more are The Saints and The Fall. Both of which still put out some great new music, and on a fairly regular basis. Thanks for the nice words.

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  154. The health aspects of being around second hand smoke are controversial enough. However, the reason I support the ban on smoking is purely based on my being forced to smell something monumentally repugnant. I can't help but wonder what Joshstrikes reaction would be if some poor, massively smelly slob came up and sat next to him day after day. Sure, Josh could leave, but why should he have to put up with a repugnant odor.

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  155. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nAesuInmU0

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